Friday, August 23, 2013

Care for Children Project at the Missionaries of Charity

On one weekend of April, I arranged a visit to the Missionaries of Charity Alay ng Puso at 683 Delpan San Nicolas St. Binondo Manila. I went to Manila where I invited friends and alumni of SSEAYP. Fortunately, I was joined by a couple from batch 2012 namely Raine Alerta and Joejoe Fresnoza. Both were amazed to spend their weekend with the less fortunate kids of the center. According to them, it was a rewarding activity that they would like to do it more in the future. 

Prior to our visit to the center, I have to call up the institution for confirmation of our volunteering. I was able to talk on the phone to a Bangladeshi nun and gave some instructions. We took our way going to the said institution via Sta Cruz Church. We took a jeepney and tricyle passing by slum areas but when we got out we were surprised to learn that it’s just close by the Intramuros. 

There were around 30 children residents that we saw at the center composed mainly of toddlers and babies. They were either orphaned or abandoned. We helped the nuns and staff in the feeding of these kids. I contributed some food for them. The kids were so lovable and adorable. We played with them and everyone wants to be hugged and be held. We played until they were sponge bathed and changed clothes and helped them put to sleep. 

After our activity with the children, I saw surprisingly Sister Gloriosa, Korean nun whom I met and contacted at the Missionaries of Charity in Tayuman branch to which I also volunteered for a couple of times. It was another fulfilling experience to be sharing time with these little angels and hoping to come back soon and encourage some more friends and other people to get involve in this activity.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Ethnolinguistic Groups of Laos

During my participation in the SSEAYP International General Assembly in Vientiane, I had the chance to have an encounter with the various ethnolinguistic groups of people of Laos. They conducted cultural presentations in several occassions during my stay. They did entertaining and colorful performances. 

Laos has a population of around 6,700,000 and it is the most ethnically diverse country in mainland Southeast Asia. One third of its population comprises the ethnic Lao dominating the country culturally and economically. It has a total of 160 ethnic groups that speak a total of 82 distinct living languages. They have 49 main ethnicities. They used the term ethnic minorities to refer to non-Lao ethnic groups and the term indigenous peoples is not being used in the country. 

The main groups are called Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Khmuic, Tibeto-Burman, Hmong-Mien and Tai and Rau. The groups Mon-Khmer, Sino-Tibetan and Hmong-Iu Mien families are considered to be the indigenous peoples of Laos although officially all groups have equal status.